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Harthun gets AVCA honor


LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sam Harthun of Oregon City garnered special recognition last week, when she received honorable mention in the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-West Region all-star balloting.

It’s not the first honor for the 2012 Oregon City High School graduate. A sophomore outside hitter for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Harthun last year was honored as Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-Rookie of the Year.

It’s Harthun’s third honor this season. She was named to the 2013 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference Team and she was selected to the 2013 GNAC All-Conference First Team for her volleyball skills.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Sam to be recognized to the AVCA All-West Region Team,” said coach Mallory Larranaga. “Sam is a driven athlete whose work ethic and commitment to her team are a great example of what it takes to be a Nanook. She is also the first to give praise to her passers and setter, and she shows great maturity for future successes.”

Harthun’s 435 kills during the 2013 season rank as the fourth-most all-time in a single season at Alaska. She had the most kills in the GNAC by far, finishing ahead of the next-best kills total by 44. Harthun also entered the Alaska career top 10 list this season, totaling 749 kills after just two seasons.

Harthun led the GNAC and was ranked among the nation’s best in both points per set and kills per set this season. She closed the year with six straight weeks of being ranked in the top 10 nationally for points per set, and four consecutive weeks in the top 10 for kills per set. She ended the regular season ranked No. 7 in both categories, with 4.91 points per set and 4.39 kills per set.

The second-year player was an all-around athlete for the Nanooks (4-25, 3-15 GNAC) this season. She set season career highs with 204 digs (2.04 digs per set), 32 service aces and a .199 season hitting percentage. Her 0.32 aces per set were fourth-best in the conference. She also tied a career high with 32 total blocks.